College Football Odds & Picks for Rutgers at Ohio State: How to Bet A Huge 39-Point Spread (Saturday, Nov. 7)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Hooker and Lathan Ransom.
- The Ohio State Buckeyes will look to continue their stellar season as they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Columbus.
- Justin Fields and Company have put together a tremendous season although it's still young, while Rutgers pulled off a big win in its first game.
- Matt Wispe breaks down the game and shares a pick below.
Rutgers at Ohio State Odds
|Rutgers Odds||+39 [BET NOW]|
|Ohio State Odds||-39 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+2000/-15000 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||64.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV||Big Ten Network|
Rutgers travels to Columbus with a 1-1 mark overall and against the spread (ATS). The Scarlet Knights, meanwhile, have surprisingly been competitive in both contests this season and would be 2-0 ATS had their multi-lateral touchdown play in the final minutes of last week’s game not been overturned.
Ohio State enters this game following a road win and cover against Penn State. Through two games, the Buckeyes are averaging a 24-point margin of victory and are 2-0 ATS.
Rutgers managed to cover a 52-point spread against Ohio State in 2019 but was trailing by 28 at the half. I would expect a similar level of early dominance from a Buckeye team that has led both of its games by two scores at the half.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
While there is clear improvement for Rutgers from its 2-10 2019 campaign, there remain plenty of questions about the team. The Scarlet Knights feasted on seven turnovers against Michigan State and still only won by 11 points.
Rutgers’ Offensive Success Rate sits at just 32.6%, and it’s scoring 3.46 points per opportunity. Michigan State had a post-game win expectancy of 68% against Rutgers, but one of the obvious factors in the game was Rutgers’ average starting field position at its 45-yard line. When the Knights lost that battle the next week, they managed only 21 points.
The addition of Noah Vedral may be an improvement from Art Sitkowski, but the senior quarterback hasn’t been incredibly productive. Vedral is averaging 4.7 yards per attempt and has four interceptions to just three touchdowns all while averaging less than 150 yards per game.
The team has a Passing Success Rate of 31.3%, which ranks seventh-worst in the country, and the Knights have completed just three passes over 20 yards.
Rutgers is only running the ball on 40.5% of its 71.5 plays per game, and even though the Knights returned their leading rusher from the 2019 team, the ground attack has been equally as inefficient as the passing game.
The Knights are averaging 3.1 yards per attempt as a team and have the 10th-worst Rushing Success Rate at 33.8%. They’ve been stuffed on 20.6% of attempts, and the line is creating 2.25 yards per attempt. Isaih Pacheco is once again their leading rusher, but with 85 yards and two scores on 28 attempts, he hasn’t been a steadying force on the offense.
Defensively, the team has moderately improved from 2019. Last season, it allowed a Success Rate of 45%. Through two games, it’s allowing just 39% with its strength coming against the run, as evidenced by a 32.9% Success Rate. The Knights’ Havoc is somewhat skewed based on the seven turnovers in Week 1, but they hold a 22.5% Havoc rate.
Ohio State Buckeyes
It’s hard to be more efficient on offense than Ohio State has been this season.
The Buckeyes are averaging 4.9 points per opportunity and have an overall Success Rate of 53.8%. They’re only allowing Havoc on 12.4% of plays, and the offense has yet to turn the ball over.
Justin Fields is quickly becoming a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, and the numbers support it. He’s averaging 297 yards and three touchdowns per game passing, and while his legs weren’t heavily utilized against Penn State, he’s rushed for 50 yards a score for the season. Fields has almost as many touchdowns as he does incompletions.
The overall passing attack has a Success Rate of 63.2% and is averaging 10.8 yards per attempt with eight plays over 20 yards.
The running game hasn’t been as successful, however. Through two games, the absence of JK Dobbins has been noticeable, as the Buckeyes are averaging just 4.5 yards per attempt, which is 21% less than their 2019 average. The offensive line doesn’t appear to be the problem, as it’s created 3.2 yards per attempt and only allowed a 13.2% Stuff Rate.
The Ohio State defense has certainly been affected by the losses from last season’s team. The Buckeyes boast a Success Rate of 45.7% compared to 32.2% in 2019. And the losses in the secondary, which were exposed by Jahan Dotson last week, have manifested in a 45.3% Passing Success Rate Allowed.
However, this will be the Buckeyes’ easiest defensive matchup to date, and their front seven — which has a Havoc rate of 14.2%, — should create enough pressure to force mistakes from Rutgers.
|Check out our new College Football PRO Report, where we highlight factors that provide betting edges — like large wagers, historically profitable betting systems, model projections and expert picks — that when combined with sharp money can powerfully detail the smartest bets on a given slate.|
Betting Analysis & Pick
Ohio State has dominated Rutgers in each of the pair’s six games since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten. The average margin of victory has been 46.5 points. The game spread sits at Ohio State -38 after opening at 37, and there has been big money coming in on the Buckeyes.
History suggests Ohio State should cover this line, but I’m going to avoid the risk of relying on backups and potentially third-string players by taking the first-half line.
I’m taking Ohio State -23.5 in the first half and would take it up to 26.5. However, I would play slightly smaller bets once it crosses 24.
Pick: Ohio State -23.5 1H (up to 26.5)